November 1, 2005

Yale, Dartmouth Battle For Ivy League Lead

Nov. 1, 2005

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - When Yale and Dartmouth were originally scheduled to play on Oct. 8, the game was billed as a matchup between two teams trying to grab an early advantage in Ivy League play. Heavy rain that night forced the game to be postponed. The Bulldogs and Big Green will now play Wednesday night at 5:30 p.m. at the Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium and the stakes have grown. First place in the Ivy League will be on the line.

The Big Green, ranked 25th in this week's NSCAA national poll, is 4-1 and leads the league with 12 points. Yale (3-1-1) is second with 10 points. Columbia and Princeton, who play in New Jersey on Tuesday night, are both 3-2 with nine points.

The Ivy soccer championship is being determined in a new manner this season. Victories count as three points and ties as one point.

Dartmouth (11-3-1 overall) is unbeaten in its last six games and has posted four straight shutouts, including a 1-0 win at Harvard on Saturday. The Big Green feature Sarah Johnson, who is second in the Ivy League with 24 points (9 goals, 6 assists). Christina Ferraris has five goals and 10 points.

Amanda Webb has seen a majority of the action in goal for Dartmouth and has a 0.56 goals against average.

The Bulldogs, also 11-3-1 overall and receiving votes in the NSCAA national poll, saw their 12-game unbeaten streak end with Friday's 2-1 loss to Columbia. It was the first time all season that Yale allowed more than one goal in a game.

Three of the Bulldogs' top four scorers are freshmen, led by Crysti Howser, who has 16 points (6 goals, 4 assists). Junior Laurel Karnes has 13 points (5 goals, 3 assists) and is followed by freshmen Emma Whitfield (11 points) and Maggie Westfal (7 points).

Christina Huang, Eleni Benson, Natasha Mann, Hayley Zevenbergen and Mary Kuder help anchor a defense that has allowed only nine goals. Chloe Beizer (0.62 GAA) and Susan Starr (0.55 GAA) split the goalkeeping duties.

"The first key to Wednesday's game will be work rate," Yale head coach Rudy Meredith said. "In the past, Dartmouth has found ways to out work us. If we want to have any chance to win, we must match their intensity. Dartmouth has also been very good defensively. We must find a way to crack their defense."

The teams have split the last two meetings. Yale won 1-0 last year, while the Big Green edged the Bulldogs 1-0 in 2003.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity

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